If you follow me on Instagram, you’re already aware that I had a special visitor in my home this weekend during the deluge of rain from Hurricane Matthew. If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you may be surprised to learn that my visitor was a possum!

Yes, I know the formal name is O-possum, but I prefer the colloquial “Possum”, especially since I am buddies with them in my neighborhood and most of us in the South know them by that casual name.

possum barbara mckay

As evidenced by this photo I recently snapped (above), they like to visit the little cedar house that I put outside for possible stray cats needing a warm place for the night and most recently inside my walk in attic, just off my bedroom.

Based on the number of “eeeeews” I heard when I told people about facing off with this latest possum drop-in, I decide I need to share some fine qualities of this maligned, innocent little marsupial, who is, in fact, a cousin to the kangaroo.

I also want to let my readers know the most inexpensive, humane and very easy way to relocate wildlife that you prefer not to be hanging out with you!


First, lets give the possums of the world some credit:

  • While not the prettiest animals (though I think they are cute), they soar in several areas of intelligence. They can find their way through a maze faster than rats and even cats. They score higher than dogs in the ability to find food and remember where it is.
  • They are excellent at controlling pests. They kill roaches and rats and they eat other insects, as well as snails and slugs. Great for the garden!
  • They have a powerful natural immunity. They are mostly immune to rabies and have total immunity to poisonous venom produced by deadly snakes. That superpower is one of my favorite qualities about them.
  • Their very black eyes are just strongly dilated pupils, which allow them to see so well at night.
  • Like their cousins, a male possum is called a Jack, the females are called Jills and the babies are referred to as Joeys. Though they may hiss if confronted, they mean no harm and just want to be left alone. But these in my neighborhood kind of like hanging out with me. They have been displaced by all the construction and just don’t know where to turn.

I named my indoor visiting possum Matthew, for the hurricane. While I thought he was cute and he did nothing to harm anything, he was making a lot of noise and I felt it was best for him to take it back outside.

I first called Animal Control to learn that they do not retrieve INDOOR animals and suggested that I call companies who do that. Based on the number of these companies, there must be a lot of displaced animals these days. I was shocked to learn that it would cost me about $300…That’s $300 JUST for a company to place a trap in my attic and then come back for it?!? I knew there had to be a better way for both Matthew and me.

I called Susie, one of my most favorite friends in the world of animal rescue. Susie advised me that I could rent a humane trap from Blackhawk Hardware for $2…yep, TWO dollars! Not only would I save $298, I also felt better knowing that for sure, little Matthew would be treated humanely and relocated to a safe place. The helpful people at Blackhawk Hardware showed me how easy it is to operate the spacious trap.


Earlier that day, I had put a plate of cat food in the attic and it was gobbled up and appreciated immediately. So I carefully place more of the same food inside the humane trap and left it in my attic. I checked on it for 2 days and nothing happened. It was also very quiet in there. I searched every nook and cranny of my attic and Matthew is gone.

Remember what I said about their intelligence? Yep, Matthew did not go near that trap and politely left on his own, the same way he arrived, under the eaves of the roof and back out to the tree. Knowing his intellect now, I’m guessing he will not forget where it is dry and warm and she serves good food. And I won’t forget how to save a lot of money and humanely relocate an animal.

Hopefully this information will help you all as well!

Tell Me: Have you ever had a furry friend from outdoors come inside your home? If so, how did you safely relocate it?